The World Health Organization (WHO) says the mechanisms it uses to monitor the performance of various countries in relation to their handling of the coronavirus epidemic do not show any cover-up by the Iranian government with regard to Iran’s virus crisis.
Speaking in a televised interview with the CNBC news channel on Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of the organization, said the WHO’s fact-checking mechanisms have not found any concrete proof that Iran had been covering up the severity of the epidemic.
Asked about the media hype revolving around Iran and accusing the country of covering up the severity of the new coronavirus epidemic, the WHO chief said, “I wouldn’t frame any country without any reason or without having any fact.”
“There are reports that come from the media… but this is the WHO, you know, this is a technical organization and should check the facts. We cannot say what journalists say,” he added.
“I say if we followed journalists’ reports, whether it’s well done or not, then where we end.”
He concluded by saying, “That’s why we have our own mechanism and from our own mechanism we haven’t seen that, but if we see, then of course we should address it.”
The virus that emerged in the central city of Wuhan in China's Hubei Province late last year has so far claimed more than 3,000 lives worldwide.
In Iran, it has claimed 66 lives and infected 1,501 others, 291 of whom have recovered.
Iranian medical officials have assured that the country will contain the outbreak, noting that the condition of most of the patients diagnosed with the virus has improved.
The country has mobilized all its resources to confront the disease, with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Iran’s Army being the latest to join the campaign Sunday.
Iran has, meanwhile, announced the closure of schools and universities throughout the upcoming days, and health centers have been tasked with distributing protective items, such as facemasks, among the public.
The coronavirus, known as COVID-19, is an illness characterized by fever and coughing and in serious cases causes shortness of breath or pneumonia.